Readers Write (June 8): Dinkytown, student debt, transit, Vikings stadium, airplane noise, cigarette tax, senior discounts

  • Updated: June 8, 2013 - 10:15 AM
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DINKYTOWN

Don’t let group stop redevelopment

As a family-run business located in the heart of Dinkytown for more than 80 years, we’ve witnessed the evolution of this distinct neighborhood. University of Minnesota students and faculty will always shape its character, but the key ingredient for Dinkytown’s continued vitality is customers. A small customer base forces retailers to close soon after the grand opening balloons are deflated.

Today, Dinkytown businesses have an opportunity to welcome more customers via new housing, which could create an environment for a new bakery, florist or other small businesses to thrive. The new housing would be on the parcel of land with my store — The House of Hanson (built in 1973, years after Dylan roamed the streets). The proposed project would provide secure, lighted parking and an architectural design that complements the area, as well as hourly parking for Dinkytown visitors.

Change is part of any life cycle. Embrace it. Parts of Dinkytown are old and need revamping. Dinkytown is not a museum. Please don’t let those claiming to “Save Dinkytown” (June 3) destroy it by halting progress.

LAUREL BAUER, Minneapolis

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STUDENT DEBT

Better answers needed for a growing problem

As a college reader, I was disappointed in the recent coverage of the student debt problem (“State’s grads carry a heavy debt burden,” June 1). If politicians wanted real solutions to lowering the cost of higher education, they would get the federal government out of the system. Higher-education institutions know too well that students can access government guaranteed loans to pay for bloated tuition and fees and, therefore, have little incentive to cut costs and compete with other schools. If this easy credit was cut down, colleges would be forced to cut costs to sell their product: an education. Instead, students are instructed to incur debt and pay it off after they get a job. This isn’t a hopeful perspective for graduates. Want a real solution? Leave it to the free market to offer private loans that will be less likely to default due to credit checks and cheaper for students as financial institutions compete for business by lowering interest rates.

KAITLIN BEZDICEK, Plymouth

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LIGHT RAIL

Dense areas need transit the most

I’m shocked that both proposed light-rail lines take pains to avoid the metro’s densest areas. The Southwest proposal bypasses south Minneapolis, jetting past Uptown on a bicycle trail. The Northwest proposal goes straight west to serve a golf course in the middle of a vast park, avoiding north Minneapolis. Buses to these areas are overloaded. Why are we spending hundreds upon hundreds of millions to build rail bypassing most of our citizens?

THEODORE HARMON, Minneapolis

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